Malaysia is soon celebrating its National Day, and in preparation for that they’re closing down the airspace around Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia has announced that the airspace around KLIA will be closed from 9AM until 10:30AM on August 27-31, 2018.
That means the airspace will be closed for 7.5 hours over the course of five days, which sure is a lot.
Why is airspace being closed? So that the Royal Malaysian Air Force can conduct training for their 2018 Merdeka Day celebration airshow.
Best I can tell, for the most part airlines haven’t actually canceled or rescheduled flights in anticipation of this airspace closure, but rather are advising passengers to contact the airline if they are affected.
In conjunction with the 61st National Day celebration, KLIA airspace will be closed for commercial flights on 27-31 Aug 2018 (9.00-10.30AM) for the Merdeka Flypast rehearsals. Passengers of affected flights out of KLIA are advised to contact our Call Centre or visit our website.
— Malaysia Airlines (@MAS) August 24, 2018
It would appear as if Malaysia Airlines (and other airlines) continue to have flights sold for that period, so my guess is that they’ll either just delay flights by 90 minutes day of, or otherwise board everyone as usual, and just have them sit on the plane for the 90 minute ground stop, and maybe hope that the airspace restrictions are lifted early.
One thing that’s not entirely clear is why the airshow practice has to take place over the country’s largest international airport. There are lots of countries with airshows that require practice, but usually they’re able to do that in a way that doesn’t disrupt operations at the international airport.
If you are flying through KLIA next week sometime in the morning, maybe have a plan in place if you have a fairly short connection or actually need to be somewhere at the time you booked.
(Tip of the hat to @CTxNH)